Former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) on Monday announced that she wouldn't seek the state's open Senate seat, set to be vacated by retiring Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.).
"While I know you share my confidence that working together we could win a statewide race next year, I’m also confident that the decision not to run is the right decision for Max, Zachary, me and our entire family," she wrote on her Facebook page. "Zachary will be starting kindergarten in the fall of 2014, just weeks before next year’s general election. Further, I have tremendous respect for my fellow team members at Raven, and I’m committed to the success of the company."
Herseth Sandlin's Facebook statement came along with a picture of her son, Zachary, and went on to say that she was "looking forward to more quality time with family and friends here in Sioux Falls, up at the farm and out on the river." In the meantime, it appears that Herseth Sandlin will continue her work at Raven Industries, a manufacturing company.
With Herseth Sandlin out, state Democrats can further exhale as the prospect of a bitter primary continues to fade. Last week, Rick Weiland, a former Clinton Federal Emergency Management Agency official who has run for House before, became the first Democrat to jump into the Senate race. Top South Dakota Democrats quickly rallied around Weiland, and many saw his entrance into the race as a sign that Johnson's son, U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, won't run in 2014.
Herseth Sandlin lost her first run for Congress in 2002 but won a special election in June 2004. She was later re-elected to three full terms in the U.S. House before losing a reelection bid in 2010 to Republican Kristi Noem.